Gritty Temple Owls pound No. 10 Kansas Jayhawks 77-52

(Matt Slocum/AP)

Temple stuns No. 10 Kansas with 77-52 blowout

Temple’s Quenton DeCosey fighting for a loose ball with Kansas’ Kelly Oubre Jr. was symbolic of the Owls performance against the 10th ranked Jayhawks.

It’s safe to say the month of December has been anything but cheerful for Philadelphia sports fans. Longtime Phillie Jimmy Rollins was traded, the Flyers are ranked 12th in the NHL’s Eastern Conference, the Eagles have been bumped from playoff contention and the 76ers are in year two of Operation Tank.

So it would be somewhat understandable if the unranked Temple Owls weren’t given much of a shot against No. 10 ranked Kansas right?

The Owls took good shots, played great defense and limited the Jayhawks’ second chance opportunities in a 77-52 stunner.

On this day in 1995, the Temple Owls defeated a top ranked Kansas team and in December of 1993, the Owls ended the No. 3 Jayhawks home winning streak of 60-plus games in an upset victory.

Did you expect anything different this time around?

The Owls led wire to wire as the Jayhawks looked as disinterested as you can imagine for a nationally ranked program. Temple came into the contest 7-4 and were looking to gain some momentum before the conference schedule kicks in. From the outset, the Owls were hitting the floor for loose balls hitting the boards and contesting every Jayhawks shot. The Owls lead grew from four points to seven points to double digits. Once Kansas cut the lead to ten right before the half, there was a feeling that the Jayhawks sense of urgency would kick in.

It never did.

The Owls guard trio of Will Cummings (19), Quenton DeCosey (18) and Jesse Morgan (17) comined for 54 points on 17 of 27 shooting. For a brief stretch, Morgan hit back to back three pointers and scored another three-point play to push the lead to twenty. The frontcourt of Jaylen Bond and Devontae Watson held Jayhawks leading scorer Perry Ellis in check, holding the forward to three points on 1-10 shooting. Kansas was led by Frank Mason III, who topped all scorers with 20 points. Bond and Watson anchored the defense with 13 boards, 2 blocks and 5 steals.

Credit the partisan Temple crowd of over 11,100 with providing an uncomfortable setting for the visitors, it was equally impressive since school is out until the second week in January.

With the conference schedule looming coach Fran Dunphy has time to take a short breather and possibly work his transfers into the rotation. For now coach wanted to bask in his sixth victory over a ranked opponent since joining the Owls in 2006. “I just want the kids to enjoy their families for a couple of days before we get back to work, but tonight was our night.”

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